US oil spill report unlikely to kill offshore industry – consultant

13 January 2011 22:50  [Source: ICIS news]

HOUSTON (ICIS)--The lack of a clear directive from the US presidential commission’s final report on the Deepwater Horizon rig disaster and resulting Gulf of Mexico oil spill is good news for the energy industry, an executive with Purvin & Gertz said on Thursday.

“What it didn’t say was good news,” said Steven Jones, senior vice president with energy consultancy Purvin & Gertz.

“We’re seeing political football happen around this catastrophic incident,” he added.

Jones spoke during a presentation at a Southwest Chemical Association luncheon in Houston.

For example, while the commission suggested raising the liability cap for companies in oil spills, they did not propose an exact figure, Jones said.

Likewise, while suggesting some additional regulations, the commission also emphasised the importance of the industry taking steps itself.

Jones praised the industry for being “very aggressive” in addressing the problem, pointing to the consortium formed last summer to build a rapid response system to deal with future deepwater oil spills.

Jones noted that domestic offshore drilling production made up around 30% of US oil supply, adding that he expected the US to slowly increase production.

“I think common sense will prevail,” Jones said. “The issue is just too critical to the economy and jobs.”

The explosion on the BP-operated Deepwater Horizon oil rig on 20 April 2010 killed 11 workers. It caused a huge oil leak, which led to the largest spill in US Gulf history before it was plugged in August.

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By: Ben DuBose
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